Social housing fast track pilot will get homes on the ground – but must support real investment

Plans by the NSW government to fast track social housing will boost construction jobs and help fill the growing gap for affordable homes in NSW, The Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) said today.

CHIA NSW CEO Mark Degotardi said the pilot program recognised the urgent need to get more social housing on the ground as quickly as possible to help the state rebuild from COVID-19 and provide homes for a growing number of people in NSW who are struggling in the private rental market.

He called for the pilot to be extended to help not for profit housing providers deliver shovel ready projects in the pipeline.

“We know that communities desperately need social and affordable housing for people locally, in regional NSW as well as in Sydney” Mr Degotardi said.

“Fast tracking social housing projects as a partnership between the construction industry and community housing sector would be a win for everyone – creating local jobs and homes that are guaranteed to be affordable and stay affordable for local people to rent.

“It shows the NSW government is beginning to recognise the urgency of the housing situation now and in coming months.”

Mr Degotardi said partnerships with the not for profit sector would ensure new social housing and affordable rental homes are purpose built, well designed and constructed at a lower cost to taxpayers.

However, he said the pilot itself is not enough, with more investment in social housing required to get homes on the ground where they are desperately needed.

“Modelling by Equity Economics has already shown that 16,000 more people are facing homelessness due to job losses from COVID-19 and a further 85,000 construction jobs are at risk over the next 18 months.[i]

“Community housing providers are job creators.  In partnership with Government, we can create even more construction jobs and low-income rental housing properties – a win for the NSW economy and a win for struggling communities across the State.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Hannah Craft, 0423 377 965

[i] Equity Economics Report, ‘Supporting Economic Recovery in NSW’, https://www.ncoss.org.au/sites/default/files/public/policy/Equity%20Economics%20-%20Supporting%20Economic%20Recovery%20in%20NSW_05092020.pdf